Friday, May 01, 2009

Teaching like Jesus

Jesus is the greatest teacher.

And He taught frequently in parables that were meant to confuse His listeners. He told parables so that "seeing they would not see, and hearing they would not hear..."

In fact Mark makes a particular point about showing how Jesus only spoke in parables except when He was alone with his disciples. The only way you can find out what the parables mean is if you follow Jesus and ask Him about them later when you're alone.

If this is something of a pedagogical pattern that we ought to learn from and follow, this means that some of the best teachers are the ones who only tell enough to incite their students. They only tell enough to confuse them, to poke them, to frustrate them, to draw them in, and then they patiently wait for the students to come up afterward with questions. They wait for the emails a few days later when the student shows that he or she has been thinking about what the teacher said.

The art of teaching is not merely the art of bestowing information or understanding or wisdom. The art of teaching is also the art of concealing knowledge and wisdom, burying treasure in a field and leaving behind ambiguous innuendos to drive students to desperate exploration or despairing apathy.

And that's what wisdom does. Wisdom throws rocks into crowds, cuts babies in half, divides between fools and wise, good and evil. Wisdom lights fires.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Prov. 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.